Recent entries

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #10201 Copy

    fortunefavorsthecold

    What is the final page count? The first two books were monsters (in the best way). I think part of what sets you apart from some other authors is that you're very transparent with your writing progress. The progress bars on your site, your updates on twitter, et cetera. Anyway, long story short, I am really freaking excited to read what's in store for everyone, and I may just re-read WoK and WoR to get back in the mood.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, Words of Radiance was spring 2014, incredibly.

    Oathbringer would have been out last year, instead of this year, but the story went long. First draft was 520k words, compared to 300k words for TWoK and 400k words for [WoR]. However, in revisions, I buckled down and did some serious pruning for the good of the book--so Oathbringer is somewhere around 450k words now, going into final proofreads. November 14th drop date in the US.

    More and more, I'm certain I can't do these every two years, as I had originally hoped. They are to intricate, and I need to take a break from the world to let things simmer and brew between books. But we'll see.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #10202 Copy

    John-Bastard-Snow

    What is a lait?

    Used in Stormlight Archive "was in a lait"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's not an Earth loan-word. Like crem, it's transliterated, not translated. It roughly means, "A place where the storms are blocked." Generally, it means some kind of depression or location in the shadow of a larger rock formation.

    Stormlight Three Update #8 ()
    #10204 Copy

    hisagishi

    Just wondering what color the book is and what are the glyphs on it for the hardcover version? (book one and two are blue and red and have the glyphs for justice and something else IIRC)

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is the Bondsmith book, so the color (yellow) and glyph should match that. (Theoretically.)

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10207 Copy

    bcGrimm

    Did you write Wayne as a sociopath? Or just troubled?

    Brandon Sanderson

    As usual, I prefer not to interfere with theories that people are making, to confirm or deny them. I WILL say this, however.

    The scenes where he interacts with Ranette and Allriandre are supposed to be uncomfortable, though I don't anticipate the average reader being able to pick out why. Anyone with any sort of experience with similar situations, however, will identify that something is deeply wrong with the way Wayne sees the world. His inability to understand boundaries, and his almost pathological need to PROVE that he's not a bad person any more, lead to him far, far overstepping. (His treatment of Steris is another example.)

    Wayne is trying. This is all what makes him work for me as a real character, not as just a goofy sidekick, but you shouldn't just laugh it off and say, "Oh, that Wayne." He is deeply troubled, and isolation in the roughs--with someone who just kind of let him do his thing--did not help.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10208 Copy

    faragorn

    I have a question about the Everstorm.

    It appears the Parshendi kept singing long past the point necessary to summon the storm. It could be they didn't know when to stop, but there are other possibilities. Could the storm have been stopped or weakened if the Alethi armi had hit them earlier? Does the time they were stopped affect the number of Odium-spren in the storm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO, I'm afraid.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10209 Copy

    yahasgaruna

    I have to say though, I don't get annoyed by the fact that you want to write the side projects, but I do get perplexed by how big the State of the Sanderson is getting. You keep adding more things that I want to read, and it gets no closer to getting written! I've been waiting for a sequel to Warbreaker for 7 years now, and a sequel for the Rithmatist for over 3 years, and I've been getting excited about Silence Divine and Dark One for years just reading the chapters or descriptions you've read out at signings. Now you're adding a novel set on Threnody, and one on Silverlight?

    DEAR GOD MAN DO YOU WANT ME TO DIE OF ANTICIPATION?!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Original Cosmere sequence (from around 2003 or so.)

    Core books:

    Dragonsteel (7 books)

    Mistborn (9 books)

    Stormlight (10 books)

    Elantris (3 books.)

    Secondary stories

    Unnamed Vasher prequel (1 book)

    White Sand (3 books)

    Unnamed Threnody novel. (1 book.)

    Aether of Night. (1 book.)

    Silence Divine (1 book.)

    This version was after I decided I'd trim back Aether of Night, but felt confident that Dragonsteel would be coming out soon. (I tried a rebuilt version of it in 2007.)

    By 2011, some things had changed. First, I'd rewritten Stormlight, and had sucked Bridge Four off of Yolen, following Dalinar (who had been moved to Roshar for the first draft of TWOK.) Warbreaker had been given a sequel. Dragonsteel, having lost the entire bridge four sequence, refocused to be more about Hoid and shrunk from seven books to between 3 and five, depending on what I decided needed to go there. Silverlight had grown from just a place I referenced to a place I wanted to do a complete story for. And, of course, Mistborn got another era. (Dark One also moved to the cosmere somewhere in here.)

    So, a lot of these have been brewing all along, and I haven't really been adding that many books--I've actually been shrinking the numbers as I feel certain things combine, and work better together than alone.

    I still suspect we'll end up in the 40 book range, but most of the new ideas for the cosmere I have, I try to limit to novellas so that we don't end up with too many promised books.

    yahasgaruna

    Thanks for the answer! I'm going to go ahead and believe there are even more books hidden in your outline you've never talked about because that makes me feel better, especially something like Skyward (since I remember you saying that was YA).

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are, but I'm very aware of how much I've put on that list so far--so I've been trying to combine stories, or make others into novellas.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10210 Copy

    har

    Is Cephandrius the real name of the character who goes by different names on different planets?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, but it's one of his earliest aliases.

    faragorn

    I'm positive this is RAFO bait but would one of Hoid's aliases possibly be Cephandrius?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid is Cephandrius. It's less an alias and more a long term identity. If you read Dragonsteel, it is super obvious.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10212 Copy

    harsh20483

    Leras mentioned something like Cephandrius had the choice/chance to take up a shard but declined. So was the shattering an event that was predicted to happen so that people like Leras, Ati, Rayse, etc to be present at that time to pick up the shards after the shattering.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's more to it than that, but some of what you say is close.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10214 Copy

    Renegade_Master

    Quick question, years ago 2011 or '12 I was in Draper, Utah for training (army). There was a trainer there named skarstead (spelling maybe different ). He said he was in a writing group with you and you named Skar (Stormlight Archive) after him. Is this true?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That would be Ethan. He's still in my writing group, and Skar is indeed based on him. Ethan is one of my best friends, to this day, and a hell of a person.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10215 Copy

    BipedSnowman

    This is just a little thing I thought of that is kinda neat. Symmetry on Roshar is seen as holy, but the letter H can be used in place of another consonant without "spoiling" the symmetry.

    Is this because of the spelling of the name Honor? If the H is a stand-in for the R, it makes the name symmetrical.

    Dickferret

    Where is the "h" thing mentioned?

    BipedSnowman

    I am copying this from somewhere else, but apparently WoR chapter 47. (I guess i tagged the post wrong, but it's just barely a spoiler anyway.)

    ""Bajerden? Nohadon? Must people have so many names?" "One is honorific," Shallan said. His original name wasn't considered symmetrical enough. Well, I guess it wasn't really symmetrical at all, so the ardents gave him a new one centuries ago." "But ... the new one isn't symmetrical either." "The 'h' sound can be for any letter," Shallan said absently. "We write it as the symmetrical letter, to make the word balance, but add a diacritical mark to indicate it sounds like an h so the word is easier to say." "That - One can't just pretend that a word is symmetrical when it isn't!" Shallan ignored his sputtering [...]"

    pwnt1337

    Is this similar to the many interpretations of the spelling and pronunciation of YHWH?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hebrew, among a few other languages, is an inspiration for some languages in the cosmere. (One of them is Alethi.) That said, in this case it's more like how in some Asian countries, they would give honorific names to famous scholars or rulers after they pass away.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10216 Copy

    Botanica

    Hey Brandon, may I ask if the red-haired woman on the Dayside map is a kind of depiction of one of Bavadin's personas?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She is not. Isaac designed that border without any explicit instructions from me, so while he might have an idea of who it is, it isn't someone specifically relevant to large-scale cosmere workings.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10217 Copy

    [joke about Birds=Chickens on Roshar]

    Brandon Sanderson

    See also: Eastern Rosharans using the word "Wine" for a variety of types of alcohol, when only rare imports from Shinovar actually come from a grape, and naming animals things like "hound" when they only vaguely resemble a creature from Shinovar. (Or the term silk, which is harvested from plants that float in the ocean. Or using the word 'cremling' for any kind of small crustacean or insect, which is a linguistic expansion of the word over the centuries, when there used to be two distinct terms for them.)

    Vorin languages, in particular, lend themselves to this kind of simplification of terms.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10218 Copy

    IneptProfessional

    Since you mention languages on Roshar, are there any languages that are completely unrelated to any other on the planet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Our basic language families are:

    Vorin: Alethi, Veden, Herdazian, and more distantly Thaylen. Nathan is close to dead, but shares a root, and Karbranthian is basically a dialect. Other minor languages like Bav are in here.

    Makabaki: Azish is king here, and most the languages around split off this. There are around thirty of these.

    Dawnate: A varied language family with distant roots in the dawnchant. Shin, parshendi, Horneater. They share grammar, but they diverged long enough ago that the vocabulary is very different.

    Iri: Iriali, Reshi, Purelake dialects, Riran, and some surrounding languages.

    Aimian: These two are lumped together, but are very different. Probably what you were looking for.

    That isn't counting spren languages, of course. I might have missed something. Typing on my phone without my wiki handy.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10219 Copy

    gurgelblaster

    "Your" wiki.

    Oh dear, I can only imagine the contents, not to mention the chaos it would inspire over on the 17th Shard if it ever leaked. Once the Cosmere is complete in 30 years or so, do you have any plans for letting the fans peek at it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    When the Cosmere is complete, I will share it--or have instructions to share it when, hopefully in many years, I pass away.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10220 Copy

    esh99

    I know there isn't a short story from Nalthis in the collection, but I still would have liked a Solar Map and Brief overview of the system in the Arcanum Unbounded. Maybe it could have just included the Warbreaker prologue and a link to the free download? The fact that even White Sand (an unpublished book/unfinished graphic novel) had one but Nalthis doesn't is a shame...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Truth is, part of me felt I'd find time for a Nalthis story at some point, but it never worked out. Edgedancer's length and involvement in the main Stormlight story sucked away the time for doing a Nalthis story. Maybe it would have just been better to stick one in, with no story, but it felt weird to me. Hindsight, looking at the book, I probably would do it if I had the chance over again.

    fixer1987

    Could the map and Khriss essay for Nalthis perhaps be released on your website/Tor's website sometime after Oathbringer's release or during the revision process for it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I was thinking maybe we release it around the time of the paperback of the collection, if I can find time to get it done. But the Oathbringer release would be another good idea--maybe I'll do that instead.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10221 Copy

    emailanimal

    [Brandon] must have had enough of chuckles every time someone referred to Bavadin as a "he" over the past few years.....

    Brandon Sanderson

    Bavadin has several male personas, and has often appeared as male for one purpose or another, so it's not that much of an issue. She has more female personas, but some of the male ones are quite popular.

    This won't be relevant for a long while, but as a service to the community, let me say this: try not to get too hung up on gender, race, or even human appearance where Bavadin is concerned. There are some peoples who worship entire pantheons where every member is actually her.

    Argent

    There are some peoples who worship entire pantheons where every member is actually her.

    I think that's hilarious.

    I've been meaning to ask a similar question for a few days now, I am glad someone else did and you replied. Bavadin is now instantly super interesting to me!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Bavadin is awesome. One regret of finally moving on from White Sand (and doing the graphic novel, instead of doing an entire trilogy myself) is because I won't get to show her off as a character for a while. It should still happen, mind you, but I have enough on my plate right now that I just can't do it all.

    Argent

    Eh, it's alright. The more we wait to see her, the more practice writing you will have when you do write her, and the more awesome she will be to us :) Are we going to see her in White Sand first though, or elsewhere?

    I've also been talking with a couple of friends about Ambition, who happens to be a Shard I love unconditionally just because of his?her? mandate. So I should ask - how tight-lipped do you intend to be with information about it? Can we prod for a little bit of trivia, or is it too early for that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm going to be pretty tight-lipped for now. Let's at least let White Sand finish first--you will find her in there, though her touch on the story (directly) is light. She prefers to allow her personas to become the focus of attention.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10222 Copy

    Wincompetence

    I'd very much like a story, even a short one, from the point of view of a spren.

    Specifically a spren that is bound to a surgebinder. Syl, Glys, Pattern, etc. I'd like to see how they go from Shadesmar to crossing over and losing their thought, to slowly regaining it and forming a bond in more than one way with their surgebinder.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a matter of when, not if--but you might have to wait a few books.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10223 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think /u/Tellingdwar IS Tellingdwar though, which is still pretty cool. (I got the character from him.)

    Faera

    Wait really? I always thought it was his account that was named after the character.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He wore a terrisman costume to gencon one year, then was my faithful steward during a RPG session for the Mistborn game. After that, he ended up in the books.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10224 Copy

    PG_Wednesday

    [WoB compilation about spren]

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hmm. With a casual glance, I see at least one here that I might have been fixated on a question that wasn't actually being asked. I do this occasionally, particularly at signings, where we're going so fast and I think someone is asking something that they're not.

    In regards to there being spren bonds before the Last Desolation--there obviously were. (We see Knights Radiant in Dalinar flashbacks that are before the Last Desolation.) I think I was trying to talk my way around a different question, without giving RAFO answers, that I'm not going to get into now.

    Another sketchy one on this list is regarding whether the spren call the nightwatcher Mother or if they're calling cultivation Mother. I don't think the text of the books actually implies either way, despite what I said. (Unless I'm forgetting something.) For those in the know, with the Nightwatcher being an analogue of the Stormfather, that implication is there--but I don't want to confirm it either way. You'll get more on the Nightwatcher and Cultivation, and their relationship, in the books.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10225 Copy

    damenleeturks

    Was anyone else completely surprised in Bands of Mourning when Wax offhandedly mentions that he and Lessie had been married?

    I don't remember any mention of Wax and Lessie being married before that point in the series. Together, yes. But married, not at all.

    Did I just miss it? Or did /u/mistborn forget to mention it in earlier books? (Or did he slip in some hand wavy retconning and hope no one noticed)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is one of those things that editors kept trying to change back, but which I insisted stay as it's not a contradiction to the earlier book. Wax's thinking of her in this way is a kind of unconscious defense against what his mind perceives as an attempt by society to wipe her out of existence and force him to move on.

    damenleeturks

    I appreciate that the intention here was for Wax's state of mind to feel a little off.

    Still, with the concrete way he thinks of the relationship as a marriage, with how he remembers the specifics of a ceremony, it's hard for me to resolve your statement that "Wax and Lessie never had a real ceremony" with the conflicting statements in the text (emphasis mine)—

    At the very beginning of chapter 1, Wax and Wayne are talking, Wax casually mentions that it's his second marriage and Wayne doesn't bat an eye:

    “You gonna be all right?” Wayne asked.

    “Of course I am,” Wax said. “This is my second marriage. I’m an old hand at the practice by now.”

    Then, after Wax gets to the church and is getting dressed, he muses further on his previous wedding:

    Then, after a moment’s hesitation, he strapped on his gunbelt and slid Vindication into her holster. He’d worn a gun to his last wedding, so why not this one?

    And finally, Wax contemplates the actual ceremony as he and Steris are walking "down the aisle":

    Wax found himself smiling. This was what Lessie had wanted. They’d joked time and time again about their simple Pathian ceremony, finalized on horseback to escape a mob. She said that someday, she’d make him do it proper.

    With all three of these in short succession, Wax clearly establishes that 1. he was married before to Lessie (at least in his head), and 2. there was some kind of wedding ceremony (was this in his head, too?).

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, the following is how I explained it to Peter, I believe, back when he raised these objections during the editing stage. Wax and Lessie had no official marriage, though they did exchange some vows (as Wax notes, on horseback, fleeing a mob.)

    Lessie gave him grief, claiming that it didn't count--that she wanted more. She wanted an actual wedding, and a piece of paper to say they were married. Wax figured this was good enough, and resisted wanting to do something more formal. It was his whole, "I am the law" thing he had out in the roughs. Focus on what matters, not what paper-pushers might claim he should do.

    Over the years, they talked about getting married for real, and he started to think of the day they would. (Shifting his focus away from thinking of "my wife" but instead of kind of a long-term betrothed/common law wife.) When he lost her, and moved to Elendel, his viewpoint shifted. He wanted more and more to treat what they'd had as a legitimate marriage, for fear that what he and Lessie had would be wiped awaystamped out, by something more grand that society was demanding of him.

    So while the event never changed, his perception of it certainly did. I intended for it to be contradictory, but only subtly so, and this is one of those things that I didn't feel like it was right to do in the text. (Much like Wayne's dislike of Steris for stealing Wax away from him and from the memory of Lessie--but this sentiment slowly shifting into a protectiveness of her as she reached the "inside" circle and gained legitimacy by making Wax happy.)

    These are things that the characters themselves don't realize, and while I'll occasionally hang a lantern on them, sometimes I just leave it unspoken and subject to interpretation. If every little thing gets spelled out in the text, then I am left feeling that we're being too on the nose.

    That said, once in a while, things like this DO annoy Peter. He'd prefer I pin the text down on things that seem to contradict one another.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10226 Copy

    Neagor

    What would happen if a Feruchemist fills, for example, a tin metalmind then mixes it to make a pewter metalmind? Does the stored attribute change? Is the Investiture gone when you melt the metal? What if he just makes it into a tin metalmind again?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you make it impure, you'll keep the investiture, but won't be able to get it out. If you make it back into the same thing, you'll be fine, and can access it normally. If you try to fill it, after changing the composition to make another viable metal, it will act a little like a computer hard drive with corrupted sectors. Some of it will work for the new investiture, but you won't be able to fill it nearly as full. (Depending on how full it was before you melted down.)

    This holds for basic uses of the metallurgic arts. Once you start playing with some of the more advanced parts of the magic, you can achieve different results, which are currently RAFO.

    eSPiaLx

    Similarly, if you were to soulcast a metal would it have similar effects of corrupting the investiture and making it inaccessible? Like if you turned a steel metalmind into pewter.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've stayed away from soulcasting and forging in these types of discussions, as I feel my answers will dig too deeply and prompt more questions that, eventually, will lead to lots of RAFO type questions. I don't really want to go there--but I will say this. Changing invested objects with other magics is hard, and often requires such a force of investiture yourself, that it becomes very power-inefficient. Just like we can technically turn lead into gold right now--by spending way more money than the gold is worth.

    BipedSnowman

    So you could, for example, use electrolysis to dissolve a metalmind in water, then reverse the reaction later to get the investiture?

    OR, better question, if you store investiture in one allotrope of iron, can your retrieve it off you change to a different allotrope?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I see no reason why these wouldn't work.

    dce42

    So would forging with the blood of a radiant(kaladin, dalinar,etc) work on a shard blade from a fallen radiant to say change who they had bonded, or how the bond was broken (to say death instead of giving up on the oath)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10227 Copy

    jpterodactyl

    Kwaan might have understood realmatic theory.

    In the chapter 19 epigraph for the final empire, the author of the journal says "When we first met, he was studying one of his ridiculous interests in the great Khlenni library - I believe he was trying to determine whether or not trees could think."

    I wonder if that means he was looking into trees have a cognitive aspect. It seemed weird to me the first time I read it, but knowing what I know about the Cosmere and Sanderson loving worldbuilding, I feel like that's what this was about.

    zuriel45

    Was pre-ascension scadrial cosmere aware?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The OP's theory is correct. The rest is a RAFO.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10228 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ben's interpretation posted in this thread is the canon one. I wish I'd gotten a picture into the books. One of my regrets for Book One is not thinking to put a diagram.

    One thing I worked with when writing the first book were heavy counterweights that you locked into place on one side of the bridge (at the sides) then pulled off and carted across to lock on the other side of the bridge, to change the center of gravity for maneuvering the bridge. They broke the flow too much, so I think I cut all references, but you can head-canon them if you want. I think you'd realistically need something like that to get across some of the wider chasms.

    The math on bridges is a bit tricky, regardless. Even with Roshar's gravity, we had to use a Soulcast wood (one that doesn't exist on earth) for huge sections of the bridges to get a strength/weight ratio that would actually work. (Meaning, it could be carried by the numbers of bridgemen we needed after some were killed, but was still be strong enough to ride across.)

    Footnote: The 'interpretation' in question is from Ben McSweeney and is attached to this entry.
    Sources: Reddit
    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10230 Copy

    LordXenu069

    How tall would the average chasmfiend be, and how much would they weigh? On a scale from ant to Godzilla.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, they're big. Not godzilla big, but larger than elephant big. On average, they're going to loom over you at about twenty feet high, which is deceptive to their size, as they're longer than tall. And some do get even bigger.

    Weight, though, is a tricky matter with greatshells on Roshar. The symbiosis with spren is how they get around crushing themselves. (Even on a lower gravity planet like Roshar.)

    LordXenu069

    One last question though, symbiosis is a two way relationship. The chasmfiends get a huge benefit, the ability to not immediately die. So what do the spren get out of it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, the symbiosis is a two-way relationship. You'll find out more in future books, but suffice it to say, the spren DO get something out of the deal. (At least, when it happens naturally.)

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10231 Copy

    Only4DNDandCigars

    Just wondering, I read the old version and it was great, but will I miss out on continuity if I skip the graphic novel release? Also was Hoid in this novel? I dont remember finding him.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid is referenced in the novel, but it's like Emperor's Soul or a few of the others, where he's only mentioned. We beefed up his presence for the graphic novel, though he'll equate to still just a cameo, because of certain cosmere timeline issues.

    I don't plan to change continuity dramatically from the novel to graphic novel--just tell the same story, better. I hope that people will still read and enjoy it, but I also don't want you feeling left out if you don't get around to it.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10232 Copy

    bmshklkh

    I have a question about White Sand Vol 1, although this comment thread is probably not the best place to ask it.

    Just wondering how you view the final product, in the range of "learning experience, next one will be different" to "amazing book, won't change a thing"? I've never published a graphic novel, and I'd love to know how you feel about it now that you're past the first volume and have the second one upcoming.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hmm...

    I'd say halfway between those two. I am very pleased with a lot of things about it. The thing that I don't think came out right is the worldbuilding, particularly the cultural worldbuilding.

    psychomanexe

    That is one difference I noticed. When you describe clothing and buildings and whatnot, it sort of brings them into focus in a different way than a graphic novel (or movie) does. With the graphic novel, my brain just went "ah, they're all wearing this kind of clothing, sure. Oh, she has a Victorian style dress, that's neat." and that was kind of the end of it.

    I think it might have something to do with lingering on it? Like spending a lot of time describing something can show how important a thing is to a character (or the plot), but I kind of skipped over the descriptions by glancing at the picture then returning to dialogue.

    On the plus side, it helps me reinforce the fact that I need to spend more time describing things in my book.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that's part of it. Though I don't think we got in the graphic novel some of the important worldbuilding elements, such as the armor that melts when sprayed with water, the unique forms of fighting, and the fact that the people you assume are the advanced ones (because they live in buildings instead of tents) are actually far less technologically developed than the ones who live out in the desert. (Because on this planet, that's the "good" land while the low sands are the less fertile parts.)

    That was a dynamic that was very hard to get across in the book, though, and I don't know that my skill at the time was up to it. I was disappointed in the graphic novel once the colors and final art came back to discover a number of pages that looked like brave Europeans fighting savage desert people--which was the reverse of what I'd been trying to accomplish. (But is part of our cultural biases, so I'm not surprised it was how the artists ended up interpreting it. And I'm to blame for not reinforcing the idea stronger back when it could have been changed.)

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10234 Copy

    Sebastian_R

    Mr Sanderson, I'm really interested in the languages of SA, especially Unkalaki (Polysynthetic?). Have you actually created full conlangs for these or are they just for naming. You obviously know what you're doing.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm not done yet, but for a few of them, I'm fairly far along. Yes, Unkalaki is polysynthetic, and is the same language family as Parshendi.

    k4l4d1n

    how do you create your languages, do you find a language from the real world and base the structure off of that? or do you create it from scratch?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A little of both. It's hard to create something that doesn't have some roots in something you've seen before, however. (Even if you think that you are.)

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10235 Copy

    NotOJebus

    Scadrial question: When coming up with twinborns, do you actively avoid the incredibly overpowered combinations? Something like pure steel twinborns seem extremely overpowered.

    Also, can we get an idea for how many twinborns exist? Is it dozens? Hundreds? Thousands?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm going to have to talk about them eventually, but yes, I made some deliberate choices for the Alloy era heroes.

    My intent is that they're very rare, but there's this problem in fiction. You can say something is very rare, but if your two main characters are that thing, readers won't FEEL it. So I avoid making too big a deal out of it either way. Either way, I don't have the numbers handy right now.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #10236 Copy

    Yata

    There is something that recently was debated by some fans and I hope you may give some clue about the "side effect of interaction between magic" as was pointed in the Twinborn and Surgebinder cases: Are those "perks" stackable? To say if I am a Fullborn like Rashek, wil I have all the possible Twinborn's perks or a specific "Fullborn's perk"? And about the same topic, a Mistborn or Full Feruchemist has his own perk/perks?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've worked under the premise that if you hold too many of the powers, like a Mistborn, the result is a loss of these little quirks. The mechanics of it are interesting, but I'll leave you to theorize on that sort of thing.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    Ray745

    You have stated that each Knights Radiant Order gets their own unique ability, for lack of a better word, due to the combination of their Surges. For instance, you have stated this ability for the Windrunners is strength of squires. My question - is this due to the Nahel bond, or just inherent in the Surges combining. Would a non-Radiant get these abilities from the Honorblades, or would they be out of luck due to no Nahel bond?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question! The unique abilities have more to do with the powers interacting, same as how Twinborn will often manifest some odd side effects of the powers interacting. But there are limitations. For example, Jezrien didn't actually have any squires, as none of the Heralds did.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    Phantine

    Mare is actually no-ghost fully dead, right?

    Just wondering, since she's the only allomancer to ever be sentenced to the pits, so she's presumably the only person with a powerful soul to die right next to Ruin's Well.

    Or is Ruin Energy inherently the type of thing that won't (can't) extend the life of a ghost?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is no cognitive shadow of Mare hanging around.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    BipedSnowman

    Does this [map of Roshar] look like a storm to anyone else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I was searching for something that at once felt organic, but would hint at a pattern. (Much like cymatic patterns, as referenced in the first book.) Fractals and mathematical functions became my go-to place to hunt, as I like the blend of structure and spontaneity they can sometimes exhibit. The slice of the Julia Set was the one that stuck with me as feeling perfect for Roshar. As the continent was specifically grown by Adonalsium, you now know the seed that was used in-world to create it.

    The fact that it looked like a swirling cloud is part of this all--but also part of the connection between natural patterns and the underlying math, which is a primary theme of the Stormlight books. So yes, it SHOULD look like a storm--but for deeper reasons than you might assume.

    Argent

    I asked Isaac recently, but he suggested you might be the right person for this - do you have a specific equation for the Julia set you used to generate Roshar? I know it resembles a few easily Google-able images of (shadows of slices of) Julia sets, but I was curious if had specific numbers here.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't have any numbers I could give you. Sorry. I might be able to find them, if I looked, but it would take more time than I'd like.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    NotOJebus

    As the continent was specifically grown by Adonalsium

    WHAT????!!!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Roshar predates the Shattering. I've spoken of this before, haven't I?

    NotOJebus

    Maybe somewhere before, and obviously most planets existed before the shattering (Planets are pretty old) but I don't think you've ever mentioned Roshar (the continent) being specifically grown by Adonalsium.

    Is this a normal thing that Adonalsium did or was Roshar special to him in some way?

    A quick search reveals that you have mentioned that Roshar was named Roshar before the Shattering but nothing mentioned about it being grown by Adonalsium. It makes sense though, that shape is obviously not natural.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are many things that are unique about Roshar, but it wasn't the only world created in this way.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    Evilkill78

    While rereading HoA I decided to do a bit of research on an informant. But I also found another interesting tidbit on Theoryland.

    http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=727#35

    This WoB. It implies TenSoon is eventually going to be able to reconnect with Vin, or at least, someone with Hemalurgic spikes is going to be able to communicate with someone that's departed to "The Beyond" (or the Spiritual Realm)...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, this looks like one where I was tired from answering a lot of questions, and was thinking about Kelsier--I was really excited to write Secret History back then. I realize that it wouldn't make sense for Kelsier to want to talk to TenSoon, but you'd be surprised the things that you say sometimes when you're trying to write in someone's book, keep yourself from giving too many spoilers, but also answer questions. You can go on auto-pilot sometimes for a minute or two, answering questions that my brain THINKS someone asks, when it's not one they actually asked. Or mashing together two questions, and having a kind of crossed-wires brain moment. You can see me do this on Reddit sometimes too, if you look back through my history. I often catch it and edit to explain myself, but not always This was during the era when I was heavily laying foreshadowing to fans for Kelsier's return, so it wouldn't feel like a cheat when I eventually got to Secret History. So I was looking for opportunities to talk about people with spikes communicating with the Cognitive Realm. I can't remember. There's also a possibility that I was still contemplating Vin staying, which she could have done, as someone who'd carried one of the powers. Either way, I made the call that even bringing Kelsier back was dangerous for undermining consequences, and having Vin hang around would be counter to her character arc and the arc of the stories. So Vin and TenSoon won't be talking any time soon. Sorry to shut down conversation on this one, and sorry to lead you on.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    Commicommand

    Does emotional Allomancy work on animals?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Emotional Allomancy requires a certain level of sapience.

    Phantine

    So dolphins, oragutans, mistwraiths and parrots might work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I was intentionally vague. :)

    A_Shadow

    Huh, so that would mean that divine Breath (or just regular Breath?) works in a completely different underlying mechanism than emotional Allomancy in providing that calming effect for animals and children. I had previously thought it was just an overlap in abilities.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is an overlap. But it involves playing with Spiritwebs and/or the Cognitive Realm.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    xolsiion

    I'm a big fan of Harmony.

    zatanamag

    Probably will never happen but I'd love to see him put the smackdown on Odium.

    chx_

    Paging [Brandon]... what do you think of this theory :) ? Is this your plan? Or are we asking about something which is decade(s) away?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I find theories like this very interesting, but yes, you're right. This is talking about things very far away. I've said, however, that Odium is wary of Harmony.

    zotsandscrambles

    It seems like Odium has been attacking shards that share a world for some reason (dom and dev hon and cult). Maybe his exploit against dual sharded worlds would work less well against a dual-wielding shardholder?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I won't say yes or no to that, but you can imagine that what happened on Scadrial is something he would have preferred never occur.

    zotsandscrambles

    I'm surprised it didn't occur to anyone to grab two shards to begin with? Pairing Odium with Devotion seems like a good idea.

    Did this not occur for a specific reason, or just an oversight on the part of the folks involved?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    Relevant-Quoter

    Can you tell us who the main interlude character is for this book? Like Szeth for TWoK and Eshonai for WoR.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    havoc_mayhem

    We know that the recurring interlude character is typically one who plays an important role in events, but is currently not interacting directly with the other characters. My guess is that it's Jasnah this time, as she slowly makes her way back to civilization, or explores Shadesmar.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You are correct in that it's someone important, but generally unconnected. It's also, generally, going to be someone who hasn't had a large number of viewpoints so far. It does give a spoiler if I say who it is for this book, though.

    Argent

    Because it's someone we believe to be dead / somewhere else / something along those lines? Kind of like giving away the protagonist of Secret History is a spoiler in and of itself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's not as big a spoiler as that; it will just set you wondering about something else that IS a spoiler. This will make sense when the book is out. (Feel free to ask my rationale when it's out.)

    havoc_mayhem

    Is it Tezim, the god-priest of the Tukari? I'd love to see an interlude focused on him. There have been many hints that there is something really unusual happening there.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. :)

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    cinderwild2323

    What were you dissatisfied with in WoR?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's twofold. Spoilers follow, obviously.

    In the original draft, none of the alpha readers felt that I had 'sold' Jasnah dying to them, and were all like, "Ha. Nice try. No body. She's alive.' So I kicked the assassination scene up a notch, until betas were like, "Stormfather! Jasnah just died!"

    That was a mistake, I now believe. (Though this didn't get changed, and won't get changed.) Sometimes, I over-emphasize to myself the importance of surprises and twists. The book is fine if readers suspect Jasnah is still alive--actually, I think it's stronger, because it is more satisfying to be right in that situation, and doesn't detract from Szeth's miraculous survival at the end.

    I knew this soon after I'd released the book, but decided it was just too extensive a change to try tweaking.

    The other one I did tweak. In the battle at the end between Kaladin and Szeth, I'd toyed with letting the storm take Szeth--him essentially committing suicide--as opposed to him spreading his hands and letting Kaladin kill him. I felt that after the oath Kaladin had just sworn, stabbing a docile opponent unwilling to fight back just didn't jive. This I tweaked, changing the paperback from the hardcover, which has produced mixed results.

    Most people agree the change is better, but they also say they'd rather not have the hardcover and paperback have different accounts in it, and would rather I just stick to what we put in the hardcover. It was interesting to try, to see what the response would be like, but it seems that the better option all around is to just wait until I'm certain I don't want to revert any of the revisions or tweak anything new.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    cinderwild2323

    What is the biggest change you've made based on alpha/beta reader feedback? (This goes for any of your books)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably adding Adolin as a main viewpoint character in the first book, which was done because I had trouble striking the balance between Dalinar worrying he was mad, and being a proactive, confident character. Worried better to externalize some of the, "Am I mad" into his son worrying "My dad has gone crazy" while letting Dalinar be more confident that his visions were something important. (I still let him worry a little, of course, but in the original draft, he felt temperamental from vacillation between these two extremes.)

    Bringing Adolin to the forefront in the books has had a huge ripple effect through them, as I've been very fond of how his character has been playing out.

    Enasor

    May I ask why you choose to use Adolin as the viewpoint character to supplement Dalinar as opposed to Renarin? My understanding is Renarin has always been the "most important brother" within SA, which made me wonder why, based on the beta readers comments, you ultimately decided to use Adolin and not your established character to bring forward the dilemma.

    I am, obviously, extremely fond of how Adolin has been played out so far and while I have no idea where he is going (but zillions of theories), I am curious to know what his initial purpose in the story was. Did you draft the character's personality just for WoK's needs or did you have an idea of what to do with him when you made the change?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I was well aware that I needed certain things about Renarin to remain off-screen until later books, and him being a viewpoint character early would undermine these later books.

    Adolin is a happy surprise and works exactly because he doesn't need to be at the forefront, even after I boosted his role. With Adolin, what you see is really what you get, which is refreshing in the books--but it also means I don't need huge numbers of pages to characterize him, delve into his backstory, etc. He works as a side character who gives more to the story than he demands pages to fullfill that giving, if that makes sense. Renarin is more like a pandora's box. Open him up, and we're committed to a LOT of pages. (Good pages, but that was the problem with TWOK Prime--everyone was demanding so many pages, from Renarn, to Jasnah, to Kaladin, to Taln, that none of their stories could progress.)

    Adolin has basically always had the same personality, from TWOK Prime, through the original draft of the published TWOK, to the revision. The changes to making him more strong a viewpoint character were very natural, and he has remained basically the same person all along--just with an increased role in the story, and more development because of it.

    I do discovery write character, usually, as a method of keeping the books from becoming slaves to their outlines. This means that Adolin has gone some new directions, but it's been a growth from the person he was in TWOK Prime. (Which you'll be able to see when I release it, sometime in the hopefully not distant future.)